Punk Is Dead -- That's right kids, we're calling it: Punk is dead. No, seriously guys -- this time, we think it's for real. Why now, you ask? Nike. That's why.
Looks like the oh-so-honorable jocks at Nike HQ ran out of freakin' graphic design ideas, and had to come and piss on one of the standard iconic images of punk rock history. I'm talking about the cover of Minor Threat's 1984 album. You know what I mean: the simple red and black cover showing the legendary Ian MacKaye, bald even then, leaning on his knees. Simple. You'll notice no Nike kicks in the picture, either.
Nike, however, launched an ad last week for its "Major Threat" skateboarding tour. And gee, they sure do look similar. Its ad is blue and black and shows a bald-headed man slumped over his knees, just as on the Minor Threat cover. Oh! But what are those on his feet? Why, this man can't be punk - he's got #?% & amp;$! Nikes on his feet.
Early this week, MacKaye made a statement that the bozos over at Swoosh Land never asked his or Dischord Records' permission to mimic - let alone blatantly rip off - the Minor Threat cover.
But beyond the question of copying the cover so literally, alarm bells went off in our heads over what a slap this is to the face of punk rock culture. The longtime "counterculture" was founded on a D.I.Y. work ethic, on simplistic living; and Minor Threat championed that movement, charging little to nothing for tickets and refusing to sell merchandise. Gee, that doesn't sound too compatible with Nike's evil corporate practices, now does it?